Wrestling hierarchy : performance of race, nation, and body surrounding a case study of Rey Mysterio
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This project explores luchador Rey Mysterio’s cultural figure and the way it is formed institutionally via ringside commentary and through the WWE’s approach to its media market; through his dialogue and performance of body; as well as the myriad ways his performance is interpreted by U.S. fans and around the world. Through the content analysis of four primary WWE texts, this thesis works to better understand how tropes of geography, space, and body interact with underlying (and sometimes very overt) themes of race, U.S. racial hierarchy, ethnicity, and nation presented via the spectacular theater of WWE performance. Important over-arching questions that this project strives to explicate upon focus on how embodiment and racial difference are presented in the U.S. historically and how Mexican American diaspora are represented through U.S. professional wrestling.